Masa Sushi & Grill: Japanese; Allendale; 81 W Allendale Av; 24/18/$42; 201-934-6616; http://masasushiandgrill.com/; Great food served by a welcoming staff; Large menu with lots of non-traditional items such as Lamb Chop appetizer; King Crab app; Salmon or Tuna tartare; Amazing dumplings; Shrimp tempura to die for; Omakase available; BYO; The sushi is swimmingly fresh; Absolutely worth a visit. Try the sushi/sashimi combo; Grilled whole Calamari app; Grilled Duck app;
*Kiku: Japanese; Alpine; 5-9 Route 9W; 23/23/$48; 201-767-6322; Hibachi show- skilled chefs performing as they cook for you; Top notch slice and dice show; Pretty tasty sushi and sashimi as well; Great for dates or groups and special events; Gorgeous Alpine location. Exotic drinks. Fun time. Huge portions; Only restaurant in Alpine – maybe you’ll spot a local celeb. 201 Mag winner for best Japanese. I love the place. But it is gimmicky.
Aki: Japanese; Bloomfield; 1273 Broad St; 24/17/$35; 973-338-5030; www.akisushius.com/; Tons of sushi, sashimi and rolls to pick from- one of the largest menus I’ve seen; Cooked entrees as well; Dinner box specials; Well-presented and tranquil; More affordable sushi alternative without sacrificing freshness. Exotic rolls as well. It’s BYO. Great website; Offer brunch as well (all you can eat for $21); Cool, local neighborhood place- but not fancy. Excellent options although so-so ish décor.
Momoya: Japanese; Bloomfield; 390 Broad St; 25/18/$40; 973-748-0077; http://sushimomoyanj.com/; Photos on their website will make you crave their food; Sushi impossibly fresh; Gorgeous presentation of the food; Sashimi entrée with 20 pieces only $25; Endless menu with tons of regular and special rolls; 20+ appetizers; Hand rolls about $6; Special rolls $11-$14. Just a great bargain yet incredible meal. Must try. Casual setting.
Black Beard Ramen: Japanese; Cliffside Park; 607 Gorge Rd; 24/14/$15; 201-943-8003; www.blackbeardramen.com/; Closed Mondays, BYO; You come here for 1 reason – Ramen noodles; I can’t suggest the Tonkotsu Ramen highly enough; Large portion for only $11 – a steal for this meal. Only 4 Ramen dishes to choose from but it doesn’t matter. Just order some soup and enjoy! Weekend lunch spot only in my mind.
Arigato: Japanese; Edgewater; 1034 River Road; 21/17/$35; 201-886-1233; http://arigatonj.com/; This is an all you can eat restaurant – ideal for a casual date. Dinner only. Huge selection with incredibly tasty appetizers; The sushi rolls could use less rice and more fish; BYOB; Nice location in northern Edgewater with great views- but not on the water. Great for someone new to sushi to try a number of items.
*Akai Lounge: Japanese; Englewood; 11 N Dean St; 26/21/$43; 201-541-0086; www.akailounge.com; One of the best sushi restaurants in Bergen; Full non-Sushi Japanese/ Asian Fusion menu; Perfect date spot; Well-made cocktails; Hipster cool; Creative rolls; Tuna Guac appetizer- yum. NYC Chelsea feel. Absolute must try. Only possible issue is portion size with some dishes. Try the Rock Shrimp and special rolls & lychee martini! Soup Dumplings on menu; Friendly service and great location. Gigantic menu.
*Daruma: Japanese; Englewood; 45 N Dean St; 22/18/$40; 201-567-9600; http://darumaenglewood.com/; Look out Akai, Englewood has new competition in the ‘where to take your date for amazing sushi’ battle; Extremely fresh and creating special rolls; Option to sit Japanese-style; BYO keeps costs down; Service is friendly and attentive; Soft shell crab roll even available; Appetizers are solid as well and Tempura ice cream available. Chilean Sea Bass; Shrimp Dynamite; Incredible lunch specials.
*Nori Japanese Cuisine: Sushi; Englewood; 27/15/$35; 201-568-1148; http://norienglewood.com/; Near perfect reviews on Yelp can’t be ignored; Open daily for lunch and dinner except Sunday; Known for amazing special rolls – large selection – all $11-$15; Dirt cheap lunch specials; Bento Boxes as well; BYO; Wonder, friendly staff; Super casual – nothing fancy – but a clean, nice décor.
Hiura: Japanese; Fort Lee; 400B Main St @ Anderson; 25/15/$44; 201-346-0110; Highest quality sushi and sashimi; BYO; Super friendly chef; More suited for Omakase and sushi in general; Great Udon soup; Sit at a table and order sushi sampler for the best deal; Rolls served as well. Super fresh. Never worse than a good experience here. Chef brings traditional Japanese experience to his Fort Lee cliental. Very small place like Fuki Sushi. Not a place for special rolls. Otherwise a huge hit.
Menya Sandaime: Ramen; Fort Lee; 1638 Parker Av; 25/14/$16; 201-482-4141; http://menyasandaime.com/; The go-to place for incredible Ramen Soup. Open daily for lunch and dinner but probably best suited for lunch – or a quick meal on the go; Great place to get introduced to this fabulous dish. BYO. Gyoza and a couple apps but basically just ramen.
RyuGin Japanese: Japanese; Glen Rock; 1014 S Maple Av; 25/16/$45; 201-689-1388; www.ryuginglenrock.com/; Wildly popular local sushi spot; Bamboo separated tables or sushi bar; Kani Salad, Seafood Soup, Soft Shell Crab, Yakitori, Sushi Pizza, Spicy Tuna Tartare. Lots of Udon Soup options; Sushi/Sashimi Combo for $26; Tekka Don; Tons of regular and special rolls as well. Something for everyone. BYO. Lunch specials.
*Mount Fuji: Japanese; Hasbrouck Heights; 193 Route 17 S @ Teterboro Airport; 22/24/$45; 201-288-2800; Gorgeous setting; Interior feels like Japan and serving staff ultra-friendly and in traditional attire; Known for Hibachi- with fun cooks performing at your table; Extended sushi menu as well. Great for groups. Option for private table (for non-hibachi); Great mixed drinks. Affordable overall. Can’t go wrong. www.mtfujirestaurants.com/
Matsu Sushi: Japanese; Hillsdale; 140 Broadway; 24/18/$35; 201-930-1896; www.matsunj.com/; Won 201 Magazine’s vote for Best Japanese of 2012, 2013; 2016; Known more for terrific sushi; Try the crispy shrimp salad; BYO and near a Bottle King; Lots of special rolls, appetizers – large menu; Prepared/ cooked items worth it as well. Feature lunch specials under $10; Always fresh; Small local spot that gets it done.
Robongi: Japanese; Hoboken; 520 Washington Av @ 6th; 23/16/$30; 201-222-8388; http://robongi.com/hoboken.aspx Robongi serves inventive Japanese cuisine ranging from sushi, sashimi and salads to dishes like carpaccio’s, ceviche’s, tartare’s, filet mignon, grilled spicy shrimp and specialty rolls; BYO; Fantastic prices; Cramp quarters – so go early, on a weekday or for lunch. Very cool, hip spot, however. Fun, cheesy décor.
Minado: Japanese; Little Ferry; 1 Valley Rd; 21/16/$34; 973-734-4900; www.minado.com; They offer a massive all you can eat Sushi, sashimi, and Japanese entrée buffet; Grill station; Lunch: $18 weekdays, $22 weekends and dinner is $31 / $33. Mixed quality but it is a lot of fun. I suggest lunch. Seating is mainly booths and open tables; Loud, under-dressed crown. Giant assortment of food. Beer & wine served. Best Asian buffet around.
Nagoya: Japanese; Mahwah; 1007 MacArthur Blvd; 22/20/$45; 201-818-9933; www.nagoyacuisine.com/t4/menu.htm; Top notch sushi and extremely welcoming staff; Stone waterfall, paper lanterns highlight the décor; BYO; Gigantic assortment of special rolls and other specials; Excellent service and elegant décor; One of the better Sushi/ Japanese restaurants in Bergen; If you anywhere near to them, give them a try.
Aozora: Japanese/ French; Montclair; 407 Bloomfield; 24/22/$43; 973-233-9400; www.aozoramontclair.com/; Incredibly sleek and stylish; Like eating in an art gallery; Huge menu of Sushi, Japanese, Asian Fusion and French dishes; Creative presentations; NYC trendy & a perfect date spot; High end dining. Innovative menu. BYO helps with price. Very popular. Service can be spotty and food take long to come out. Maybe the biggest menu for this type of food I’ve seen. Something for everyone.
Johnny Roll House: Japanese; Montvale; 4 Railroad Av; 25/15/$34; 201-391-0550; Known for regular and special rolls; Extremely inexpensive for the genre; Huge selection and the freshest quality; Renovated décor as of 2017; Sushi & sashimi specials as well; Closed Sunday; BYO; Amazing find – very popular in area; Rave reviews. www.yelp.com/biz/johnny-roll-house-montvale
Sakura-Bana: Japanese; Ridgewood; 43 Franklin Av; 25/15/$44; 201-447-6525; Outstanding sushi/ sashimi and special rolls; BYO; Fairly steep prices typical of Ridgewood; Large menu with tons of combinations to choose from; Also have hot entrees including delicious tempura. Décor is average and it can get fairly crowded. Go early or during the week. Likely best for lunch (not romantic)
*Fuki Sushi: Japanese; River Edge; 828 Kinderkamack Rd; 25/13/$42; 201-225-0169; http://www.fukisushi4u.com/; Small, family owned Sushi house; Small in size but the quality of sushi is outstanding; Extremely large selection of special rolls; Sushi swimmingly fresh and tempura top notch. It’s a BYO; Only 8 or so tables or you can sit at sushi bar; High quality sushi for sure. Try the Hamachi Dream special roll.
Nizi Sushi: Japanese; Rutherford; 300 Union Av; 26/18/$38; 201-804-7666; http://nizisushirutherford.com; Small place but great quality food and super friendly staff ; Incredibly rave reviews on Yelp & other sites; Calamari Tempura; Spicy Tuna Tartar to die for; Crab Meat soup; Sashimi by the piece is 3 pieces for $3 or $5-$6 for a Hand roll; They have 17 different regular rolls and 35 Special rolls to choose from – mouthwatering combinations. Also Udon, Korean items and Teriyaki combos.
Moshi Moshi: Japanese; Waldwick; 137 Franklin Tpke; 25/18/$43; 201-444-1130; www.sushimoshi.com/; Rave reviews all around; Endless menu with tons of rolls, special rolls, tempura, grilled selections, Soups and Teriyaki; Sashimi special with 22 pieces for $28. All appetizers (20+) are under $10. So affordable and so fresh. It is a small location not great for dates – more of a place for causal weekday dinner or lunch.
*Bop & Sushi: Japanese; Westwood; 441 Broadway; 25/18/$35; 201-722-8687; www.bopnsushi.com/; Amazing for lunch as it is casual – less fancy for dinner; BYOB; What is great – the menu. Absolutely huge menu with endless special rolls to choose from; Very fresh sushi and sashimi; Giant appetizer list. Rave reviews and certainly a hidden gem. Affordable too so you can order lots and share.